Monday, June 25, 2012

House Beautiful

The landlady recently ordered the removal of our tree pit asters. She can't really do that, I mean, landlord's don't own the tree pits, do they? But her team of slow-moving, low paid handy men have all day. These were the guys who sprayed herbicide to do in the weeds around our garden a month ago (and garden plants are still dying a slow Monsanto-engineered death). Meanwhile, in 99 degree weather, another was painting the house with a roller and bucket. So many guys, but the dump never gets less dumpy.

Betsy worked hard in nasty dog and cat turd studded tree pits to make the asters orderly. I then lifted Chrysanthemums from the other beds to fill the street side. Asters are a great choice. They naturally grow under trees, are tough, don't require anything but rain, and they flower with buzzing activity in the fall that warms your heart. So far, dogs (and their owners) have resisted filling these with new turds. It doesn't look like much now, but it would, in time. Got to give it time. 

Last year's asters were self-seeded into the tree pits by wind.

Ahh, the newly-painted siding. I'm not cherry picking, it all looks like this.

All the new plants mashed by the painter's boots.

I had a run in with the landlord's daughter. She complained that the cat dander was working up her asthma as she left our building. I said that it could easily be the carpet in the foyer and staircase that smells like a thousand wet dogs. She couldn't agree, and in fact, said that given our rent, I should keep my complaints to myself and, of course, I am always welcome to leave. 

I do not like having the rent held over me to shut me up. The landlord can raise the rent if it's needed to keep maintenance up -everyone understands this, but a landlord has some obligation to maintain their building -at least the common areas. New tenants came in last year and their rent is nearly 50% more than the previous tenant, but those new tenants will attest that little has been done to improve the place. So the complaint that we don't pay enough to do some upkeep feels rather hollow. 

We hear you, we can always leave -so we're looking.


  1. Oh God, that all sucks. I'm sorry.

    1. It's been a decade in one place. You try not to move in NYC because you pay a decade of increases. But I don't think this place is healthy for us.

  2. The horrors. We have a layer of dog hair on green astroturfy carpet that would scare anyone. Hope you and your plants find more hospitable terrain. Your landlord should have considered themself lucky that you made the place so lovely.


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